ENVELOPMENT OF PERSIA 467 sovereignty of the Shah in Sistan, it could not interfere. Strictly, the case was one in which the recently signed treaty might have been invoked ; but, as the Government of India had not at this time acknowledged Shir Ali Khan, who was fighting to establish himself at Kabul, arbitration was out of the question. Being pressed to give a definite answer as to its intentions, the Foreign Office in 1863 wrote that "Her Majesty's Government, being informed that the title to the territory of Sistan is disputed between Persia and Afghanistan, must decline to interfere in the matter, and must leave it to both parties to make good their possession by force of arms." This declaration of policy favoured Persia, as Shir Ali at the time was unable to defend Afghan frontier interests. The Government of the Shah, on the other hand, secure from British remonstrances, continued steadily to pursue its policy of establishing Persian influence and power until all the Persian inhabitants of Sistan had been brought under the control of Teheran. But Shir Ali, having at length succeeded in establishing himself firmly upon the throne of Kabul, threatened to go to war with Persia. Upon this the British Government, forsaking the policy of masterly inactivity, proposed arbitration under the sixth article of the Treaty of Paris, and this offer was accepted. The Sistan Arbitration Commission, 1872.—After his success in securing the ratification of the Makran boundary, Sir Frederic Goldsmid was instructed to proceed to Sistan and there adjudicate on Persian and Afghan claims. The British Mission started from Bandar Abbas and in Sistan was joined by General Pollock, who represented Lord Mayo, Governor-General of India, and by Dr. Bellew, the well-known orientalist. The Amir of Kain, Mir Alum Khan, and the Persian Commissioner both treated the Mission with marked hostility and made it abundantly clear that it is a mistake not to provide an escort of British troops on such occasions. General Goldsmid, whose forbearance was extraordinary, made such surveys and enquiries as were possible, and then, as in the case of the former Boundary Commission, returned to Teheran.